Wesleyan University Summer Experience Grant: How to Develop A Great Application

Important Note! Your resume must be approved by the Career Center before you can apply for the Summer Experience Grant

Quick Tips:
1. No spelling or grammatical errors.
2. Include previous experiences that relate to the internship or experience for which you are applying (if you have any)

Important: A feasible budget is an important piece of your application.  It cannot exceed $4,000 and it must include your Wesleyan Summer Earning Expectation.

Quick Tips:
1. The experience must be eight weeks long. This time period can include your travel to and from the experience site; for instance, the Committee is aware that flying abroad to get to your site can eat up a few days.
2. Fill in as much of the Explanation section as needed. If utilities are included in rent, tell us that. If you need health or car insurance during the summer, you should include these items.
3. Ask friends or family what they normally spend per person on food each week.
4. Double check your travel expenses. If you are going to a remote village in Ghana, you should include all travel to get there — plane, taxi, and bus. If you are going to be working in a city, be sure to include travel from home or Wesleyan to get there initially (and the return trip) as well as subway expenses.
5. If you do not fill out a major category like Food or Travel, please explain why you do not need funds in that area.
6. Make sure you have contacted the Financial Aid Office for the specific amount for your Summer Earning Expectation. Each student’s contribution can be different.
7. Double check to make sure your numbers add up correctly!

Remember: The Committee will probably not fund an applicant who has not included a request in a major category (like Food) without explanation, severely underestimates the funds for a category ($200 allotted for travel to London) without an explanation, does not include the correct Summer Earning Expectation, or requests a total grant amount higher than $4,000.

Application Statements
[Important] Although the above components of the Summer Experience Grant application are key, perhaps the most important section of the application includes the statements you prepare.

Quick Tips on Developing Application Statements:
1. The Summer Experience Grant is to be used for career related experiences only.
1. You can only describe one internship in your application.

Statement #1
Provide a brief overview of the organization for which you will intern or project/program you are developing.
The Committee just needs to have an idea of what the organization or company is doing for their line of work.

Give us some good detail about the company or organization. Information can often be found on the organization’s website; feel free to include their mission statement (the description of what they do and why they exist). If you are working in a division of a company or organization, be sure to describe that as well. If you are planning an independent experience, you need to provide some good details of the experience, including a timeline specifying where you will be, when you will be there and what you will be doing.

This statement only needs to be about one or two paragraphs long.

Statement #2
Briefly describe the duties involved in the internship or experience, including responsibilities and tasks.
The Committee will not fund an internship that offers little responsibility or few details about the position. Answering phones and greeting clients is only acceptable if it is a part of the role you play; there must be other duties that require you to take responsibility in some form. Also, if you have only included a very vague description of your duties, you are unlikely to be funded. Your description should give the Committee a good sense of a typical day in your internship with as many details as possible.

Be as specific as possible about your intended duties. You should contact the potential internship employer and ask for a thorough description of your responsibilities. This statement only needs to be one or two paragraphs. If you are developing an independent experience, you should be equally specific about your work/duties planned.

Statement #3
How have you communicated with the sponsor and determined mutual interest?
The Committee needs to know that you have contacted your potential employer and had a discussion about the internship.

It is very important for you to have a conversation with a potential sponsor at a company or organization. Several things can happen that could prevent you from receiving your internship: You may not qualify for their internship, the internship may no longer be available, or an intern may already be selected for that year. One paragraph is usually sufficient. Specifically describe your contact — e-mail, phone, etc. – as well as detail the conversation you have had with the sponsor regarding this internship.

Statement #4
How will this experience enhance or broaden your career goals?
This part of the proposal is not an academic statement. Your statement must be compelling; you need to persuade the Committee to fund your experience. We need to understand why this experience is important to you as an individual and why we should fund it.

This is one of the most important sections of the application. The Committee really wants to know why this internship or experience is important to you. The best essays generally take a “past, present and future” approach. In other words, tell us what in the past has inspired you to explore this career (courses, experiences, exploratory searches, events, courses, and/or internships). Then explain why this internship or experience is a good next step for you in your exploration and/or experience; i.e. what you will feel you will learn to or how it will add to your past experiences or knowledge base. Finally, tell us what contribution this experience will have towards your future goals and give us a sense of what you think are your future goals. You do not need to have specific goals (though some of our applicants do); just give us an idea of what you think you might like to do some day.

Most applicants write anywhere from a one to two pages. Generally, we have found that one or two short paragraphs don’t give you an opportunity to explain to us who you are and why we should fund you. Finally, we do expect good, grammatically correct writing free of spelling errors!

If you are funded, you are expected to participate in the internship you described in your application. If - and only if -the offer for that internship opportunity falls through, you must use the Application Revision to request that the Committee fund a new internship. Only after the Committee has received and approved the new request and you and your sponsor have completed the Confirmation Forms, will you receive your funds.

Please remember that counseling staff are available at the Career Center to review your entire application as well as help you with exploring internships and other opportunities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Paul Turenne

Graduate Intern

(860) 685-2352